Student government association senator elections have ended and with a new class entering there are new ideas being pushed this semester.
New student senators are beginning their terms.
Student senators serve as a bridge between the student body and Belmont administration, voicing student concerns and organizing events for the Belmont community. SGA is made up of four committees: Constitutional, Finance, Campus Affairs, and Events. SGA also helps on-campus organizations receive funding.
Each grade level is allotted 10 senators; however, the spring elections had a low turnout. Only the sophomore class filled all 10 spots.
The 2023-24 sophomore senators are: Faith Anderson, Jordan Ludwig, Callie Mangrum, Kenneddi Mastin, Kaylin Moore, Frank Joseph Reed IV, Gabby Romo-Angel, Bishoy Sami, Jessica Samir, Mia Sherer and Kadaisha Summers.
Here is a brief profile of each the senators who responded to the Vision:
Faith Anderson, Kenneddi Mastin, Jessica Samir, and Mia Sherer declined to comment.
Gabby Romo-Angel did not respond after multiple attempts to reach them for comments.
Ensuring a diversity in funding for organizations on campus is on the forefront of Ludwig’s mind as she enters her second term as an SGA senator. Although she is not a member of the Finance Committee, Ludwig plans to use her general body vote to help smaller clubs achieve recognition.
“I feel that it’s difficult at Belmont, being that it’s a ‘music school’ to make sure that those who are not in music feel that they’re just as important and that their projects have just as much merit,” Ludwig said. “What I try to do, at least on my behalf, is to make sure when those smaller clubs come in from departments that you don’t hear a lot of, that they feel important and that they feel that they can go places at the school.”
As a member of the Events Committee, Ludwig also hopes to foster connection between Belmont and surrounding communities. Last year, she participated in the Hope Summit, along with other SGA members, which inspired her to focus on more community-centered events this year.
“We just got to spend a few hours trick or treating from table to table with community kids and watched them interact with Belmont kids, and I thought it was so special,” Ludwig said. “I hope to facilitate something else like that where we can see Belmont students and the surrounding community together on campus.”
As a first-year senator, Mangrum aims to be an accessible figure and strengthen many aspects of the community at Belmont.
“I think my main goal this year is just outreach and to get out to the Belmont community,” she said. “I love Belmont, and my main goal is to get more involved and give back.”
Mangrum also hopes to strengthen the connection among students, as she would like to see more involvement in events on campus.
Inspired by Emma Rae Thurow, a fellow member of Phi Mu sorority and a current senior class senator, Moore hopes to give a voice to the women on Belmont’s campus.
“I’m not involved in really the political scene at all. I just wanted to start to step into more of a leadership role on campus, and I think this is a good place to do that.”
Mangrum is excited to dive in headfirst and explore what she can do to make Belmont a better place, especially concerning campus unity.
“I’m really passionate about student involvement and just getting involved in getting people involved on campus. I love that. That’s one of my favorite things about Belmont - that we have such a community here, and I’d really like to facilitate that.”
Following an unsuccessful run for SGA vice president in the spring, returning senator Frank Reed has a few goals for this term. Last year, he advocated for free feminine hygiene products on campus and intends to do the same this year. He also wants to work on updating the medical supplies and training of campus security to increase the amount of NARCAN, an overdose prevention drug, each security unit carries.
“Right now, the current situation is with NARCAN... There’s only one per unit. So essentially, they might have one for the patrolling officers that are on the main campus, one for the ones that are in Hillside-Dickins area and one for historic campus, and frankly, that might not be enough.”
Overall, Reed wants to see SGA and student senators play a larger role on campus.
“I think people see student government as something that’s supposed to just sit there and be a resume builder and be a kind of “Yes Man” to the administration,” Reed said. “I think they’re wrong. Student government should be something for change and for action, something that turns the heads of administration here and makes them realize that we put a hell of a lot of money into the school.”
Eager to stay involved in student government, Sami helped out within the SGA office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion until a vacancy opened this fall. He was officially inaugurated into office on Oct. 2.
“I ran for deputy of the DEI last year,” said Sami. “I didn’t get it, but I do have that position now under Sadaf, which is nice. Having that opportunity, even though I wasn’t officially in SGA, and helping was great, and then a position came open.”
This year, Sami is channeling his efforts into helping all cultures and groups on campus to feel seen. Sami is helping to organize an event in late November where different organizations and cultures will gather together and bring in different restaurants and stores corresponding to their communities.
“In high school, we had a month for each club or culture where they would bring in their food and stuff like that,” explained Sami. “That turned into an idea of having a kind of ‘New Thanksgiving’ and being thankful for diversity and celebrating that. The communities aren’t just cultures either; veterans and disabled students and other communities can bring in businesses that they support.”
Fostering diversity at a deeper level on campus is a primary focus for first-year senator Kadaisha Summers. The media production and communications major wasn’t planning on running for senator until different aspects of Belmont caught her attention.
“There were some things on campus, I was like, ‘Oh I feel like this should change,’ like diversity,” said Summers. “What I mean by diversity is focusing on the more niche things that aren’t as presented."
Overall, Summers wants to be helpful voice in the Belmont community.
“I hope in my role, I’m able to really be the voice for people that weren’t heard,” Summers said. “A lot of people that I’ve talked to around campus - there’s a lot of things they wish they could see more. I just really hope I’m a voice for that.”
This article was written by Anna Blubaugh